University successfully completes NCAA certification

The Mustangs statue at Moody ColiseumThe NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification has announced that SMU and 13 other colleges and universities have been certified as part of the NCAA‘s regularly-scheduled, ongoing athletics certification process.

The “certified” designation means that SMU operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership of the NCAA. Certification is meant to ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. The NCAA membership mandated athletics certification in 1993, and each of the NCAA’s 335 Division I institutions undergoes the self-study every 10 years. SMU is among the first schools to complete the process a third time.

The certification process involves a thorough self-study led by an institution’s president or chancellor. SMU’s began in March 2008, when President R. Gerald Turner appointed Marc Peterson, director of financial aid, to chair SMU’s Certification Committee. The self-study included a review of several primary issues, including governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete well-being.

“The NCAA Certification process is very thorough and touches all the various parts of the university that interact with athletics,” said Dr. Turner. “The self-study identified many strengths and also established areas for improvement and growth. In the end, it was valuable for not only SMU Athletics, but for SMU as a whole.”

In May 2009, SMU submitted its initial report to the NCAA Certification Committee, which reviewed it and identified areas for clarification. In late September 2009, the committee sent a peer-review team to Dallas. The team filed a report with the Certification Committee, which announced the final certification decision in April.

“The NCAA’s recertification validates our ongoing efforts to deliver excellence in sports, in academics, and in the way we operate as a department and as a university,” said SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. “We want to thank everyone involved in this certification process. I especially want to thank and recognize Marc Peterson for his excellent work. We are extremely grateful for his dedication.”

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